Have you ever heard of financial independence?
Essentially, imagine being completely independent of any outside source of income, such as a job, which is, by definition, controlled by an employer. You might be thinking…”You mean… Retirement? Of course I know what retirement is!”
But did you know that many retirees will end up outliving their own savings? (And don’t even think about bringing social security as an argument, the last thing you want is to be dependent on the government…) According to the Economic Policy Institute, the median american worker aged 56 to 61 only has about 17,000$ saved up for retirement. That same American needs well over a million dollars to retire comfortably, as a matter of fact that’s a rather conservative estimate.
Many would react with fear to these statistics, whereas I urge you all to take it as a wake-up call, all it means is that there is a gap in what is needed and what is done. The solution? Manage your personal finances better.
There really is no other way, no shortcuts, nothing. Personal finance is a massively important topic in today’s society, yet it’s not at all mandatory in modern educational institutions. Nobody teaches you about account types, investments, banking, etc. These topics must all be learned on your own time, with your own willpower.
There’s a reason personal finance is not mandatory, unfortunately, it’s simply not given enough importance. We are repeatedly told that graduating with a decent degree and getting a decent job is all we need to be successful, this is the most impactful lie we’ve ever been told or ever told. Until a society includes personal finance as a mandatory part of it’s educational system, the responsibility of financial education lies on parents, most of which have been raised in a very, very different time. Economic circumstances have changed, it is no longer enough to work until retirement saving a measly 10% of your income.
How do we fix this?
Well, firstly, educate yourself, learn about personal finance, learn about investments, learn about the stock market. Then, educate others, share with them the knowledge needed to safeguard and ensure a comfortable retirement. Afterwards, tell them to educate their peers, and so on. It is now our duty to learn and educate about personal finance.
I urge you to look up any topic related to personal finance, there’s much to learn, and much to teach.